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Putin intends to pardon Khodorkovsky

Putin noted that former Yukos head spent over 10 years behind bars and a decision has to be made to pardon him

MOSCOW, December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has announced that he plans to sign a petition to pardon former head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky. 

After his ‘grand’ press conference, Putin said: “he spent over 10 years behind bars, I believe that a decision has to be made [to pardon him].”

“This petition will soon be granted,” he promised.

Putin reminded that convicted have a legal right to submit a petition for a pardon. “He [Khodorkovskiy] has not done it, but very recently a pardon request has been made [on his behalf],” the president said.

Accusations against Khodorkovsky

In May 2005 Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev were given a sentence of nine years for fraud and tax evasion within the framework of the first case. The Moscow city court then reduced the sentence to eight years.

The decision on the second criminal case, carried out December 30, 2010, found Khodorkovsky and Lebedev guilty on accounts of embezzlement and legalization of illicit revenues, sentencing them to 14 years in a penal colony, including the previous sentence. 

The Moscow city court later confirmed that the sentence was legal and well grounded. December 20, 2012, the Moscow city court presidium has mitigated the punitive measure to Khodorkovskiy and Levedev to 11 years of incarceration.

August 6, 2013, Russia’s Supreme Court has further reduced the sentence to 10 years and 10 months.

Thus Lebedev was supposed to walk free May of 2014; Khodorkovskiy – in August of 2014. According to ITAR-TASS source, Khodorkovskiy and Lebedev are not suspects or defendants in the so-called third Yukos case.

 Putin on Khodorkovsky

During the conference, Vladimir Putin has said that he saw no special prospects for another Yukos case.

"I do not see any special threats there," he told the annual news conference on Thursday afternoon.